The leaders of the US bishops' conference went to Rome to ask the Pope's approval for an apostolic visitation. They came away empty-handed, and announced the steps that they would take on their own authority. Although they promise “a full investigation into the situation surrounding Archbishop McCarrick,” the sad truth is that they can't deliver on the promise without help from Rome. They can't authorize an apostolic visitation. They can't require Vatican officials to cooperate with an independent investigation. They can't turn over the files of the nuncio in Washington, or the Congregation for Bishops.
Last week, before the American bishops spoke with the Pontiff, I explained why the meeting would reveal whether or not Pope Francis wants a full and honest investigation of the scandal – whether he wants the truth.
Now we know.
Published with permission from the CatholicCulture.org.